With the silly season over, Valentine's Day is now approaching. Bulla Family Dairy (Bulla) have enlisted their ambassador Justine Schofield to help you celebrate and indulge on the most PDA-filled day of the year by sharing delicious and guilt-filled recipes plus advice on what makes a great girls night in!
Question: Can you describe your ultimate girls night in?
Justine Schofield: The setting
I adore alfresco eating, particularly when my girlfriends are over for dinner. Nothing better than having a laugh, great food and wine with your friends while enjoying daylight savings.
It's still quite warm so I make the most of lighter, seasonal dishes. Preparing at ahead is crucial, particularly if your girlfriends are arounds. Nothing worse than being stuck in a kitchen missing out on all the gossip!
When preparing an Alfresco meal, I like to pre-marinate my meats or fish the day before so they're ready for the BBQ (like spiced chicken and whole bbq snapper), I love to do dips to start with (like my Bulla Crème Fraîche, goats cheese and balsamic dip) and a few contrasting salads. For this it's all about getting all get a few dressings done ahead of time so all you need to do is simple dressing the vegetables just before serving. Homemade dressing can really take a salad the next level. Two of my favourites are green goddess dressing which is a combination of sour cream, lemon and loads of fresh herbs all blitzed together and I also love the good old classic French dressing- a combination of mustard, vinegar and oil.
My girlfriend and I love to serve cocktails after dinner almost as a second dessert! Why not? Our favourite is a White Russian. A combination of vodka, coffee liqueur and thickened cream. This is pretty much the cream enhanced version of the Black Russian. The cream really gives the cocktail a lovely velvety, luxurious finish. The recipe is so simple which means making up the recipe for a crowd is a breeze. Simply stir in equal amounts of vodka and coffee liqueur over large ice cubes and then pour over another equal part of the cream so you achieve a marbled effect. For your friends who are not drinking they can still enjoy this. Simply add freshly brewed coffee over ice and then pour over the cream.
Usually starts off quite placid with a bit of Spanish guitar then after a few cocktails the -best of' 80's and 90's come out and we ALWAYS end the night with a dance and passionate group sing-along to Horses by Darryl Braithwaite.
My best friend's wedding
My friends love fruit crumbles and every time they come over they often request that for dessert. The last one I made was a stewed quince crumble and I served it with a generous dollop of spiced whipped cream. Absolutely delicious.
Question: Can you share a recipe we could serve at our GAL-entine's Day?
Justine Schofield: Slow Cooked Salmon with Pickled Cucumber and Crème Fraîche
Preparation time: 15 minutes plus pickling time
Cooking time: 40 minutes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 side salmon (about 850g), skin on and pin boned
2 continental cucumbers, peeled, deseeded and cut into battens
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp hot english mustard (or dijon mustard for a milder flavour)
1/2 bunch of dill, finally chopped
150g Bulla Crème Fraîche, fresh crusty bread
For the pickles, put the cucumbers in a colander with the sea salt and leave for 20 minutes. Wash the salt off the cucumbers thoroughly, drain and pat dry.
Mix the vinegar, sugar, mustard and dill in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cucumbers and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour to pickle.
Preheat oven to 130°C (110°C fan forced) and remove the fish from the fridge 40 minutes before cooking.
Place the salmon skin-side down on a piece of baking paper. Put on a rack in a tray to elevate the fish from the bottom so it cooks evenly. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes. The fish will still have a deep pink colour but should flake away easy.
To serve, portion fish and serve with the pickled cucumber, a quenelle of Bulla Crème Fraîche and crusty bread.
Note: This can be served immediately or served cold.
Interview by Brooke Hunter